Shortly after Hurricane Maria rampaged the island, the Defend Puerto Rico project and Coco de Oro joined forces and resources to support the community of Vuelta del Dos, located in the neighborhood of Barrio Palomas in Comerio, Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has seen a level of destruction that it has never experienced before, and the same amount of resilience. While the crisis has been aggravated by the poor emergency relief management, delays caused by bureaucratic processes, and the cabotage laws imposed by the Jones Act, the people living on the island are coming together to redefine this moment.
Underserved communities in the towns located in the interior of the island are faced with the greatest challenges, being financially, emotionally, psychologically and physically drained and exploited. One of these towns is Comerio, where the people are rising to take matters into their own hands.
It is our duty to responsibly reimagine a future for the island with the people, for the people.
In Comerio, one of the most immediate needs is the reconstruction of 18 houses.
So far, with the support of other entities, we visited the community Vuelta del Dos on 12 different occasions to coordinate and work in partnership them. In those times, 7 brigades worked long days canvassing, distributing dozens of bags of food and supplies and installing as many solar powered lamps as they could get their hands on. This was just the beginning.
In the weeks that followed, those leading the brigades managed to connect with countless of other efforts. In collaboration with Hard to Hard, a full day health clinic was organized and with the help of Fundación Plato Caliente 200 food plates were delivered.
BUT THE FAMILIES OF COMERIO ARE THE TRUE HEROES. With their help, we have been able to install 8 tarps and paint common areas thanks to Benjamin Moore, host 8 Cine Solar movie screenings, and work vigorously on gardens and orchards for long term investment on local food production.
WHY IT MATTERS:
The goal is to continue to work alongside of the people in Comerio and to provide the support necessary to reimagine and work towards a more sustainable Puerto Rico.
It will take decades before Puerto Rico “bounces back”, so they say. As we continue to work with underserved districts like Comerio to support with revitalization efforts – we welcome your financial contributions AND challenge you to continue to activate supporters and allies through dialogue and action. Here’s where you can start: